As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your children the things they need to know to stay safe. They may want to pet a dog when they see it, but do they know the right way to approach the dog or handle that situation safely?
Most of the time, young children don’t think about their actions having significant consequences. They might see a cute, fluffy dog and think it’s fine to run up to it and pet it. Unfortunately, some dogs are leash aggressive or may be fearful of strangers. They might get excited and nip or bite when a child approaches, too.
You can teach your children to respect dogs
The right thing to do is to teach your kids how to respect dogs to avoid bites. Here are five easy things to teach them right away.
- Don’t approach a dog unless the owner says it’s okay. Ask, “may I pet your dog,” from a distance. If the owner says no, don’t touch it.
- If you’re given permission to pet a dog, pet it softly on the back. Avoid touching the dog’s face or ears.
- Don’t rub the fur, brush it in the direction that it grows. Pet from front to back, so the petting doesn’t irritate the dog.
- Avoid looking at the dog in its eyes. Sometimes, dogs take this as a challenge, and they will nip or bite.
- Never grab a dog’s tail or pinch its body. If you hurt a dog, it could growl, nip or bite to protect itself.
If you teach your children these basic pieces of information, you can help them avoid dangerous situations where a dog becomes defensive or attacks because they’ve hurt or agitated it.
What should you do if someone’s dog bites your child?
In most cases, even if the bite injuries were the result of your child petting the dog, you can ask that the dog’s owner covers the cost of your child’s medical care as well as other financial losses. Dog bites are normally covered under homeowner’s insurance, making it simpler for you to make a claim.